El Paso Man Cleared of Sexually Assaulting His Daughter
POSTED: Monday, July 11, 2011 - 5:55pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 7:39am
EL PASO - Three years ago, Andrew Martin was indicted for an alleged sexual assault of his teenage daughter. The El Paso Department of Public Safety's lab performed a DNA test, which indicated Martin as the source of the genetic material tested from the young woman's body. Martin insisted that he was innocent of the crime and the test must have been flawed.
His attorney, Stuart Leeds, believed that Martin was sincere and he sought the help of an expert who advised him to try another, more sophisticated test. El Paso DPS sent the sample to a lab in Dallas to be tested by a more powerful test, which could separate male and female DNA. This second test excluded the possibility that Martin was source of the DNA, seemingly clearing him of the crime.
Martin and Leeds say that teenager made the accusation to prevent the family's move to South Africa for a job opportunity. They also say that the District Attorney's office had the test result excluding Martin since December of last year. Yet, just a few weeks ago, District Attorney Esparza said publicly that his office was still going to move forward on these charges. But Friday, the D.A.'s office reversed their position and dropped the charges against Martin. When asked for a comment, a spokesperson for Esparza says they dropped the charges due to "insufficient evidence."
With El Paso Police Department's Lab currently on probation, the DPS lab will be picking up the slack and doing those tests that would have normally been done by the El Paso Police Department Lab. Attorney Stuart Leeds says that prospect is "scary."